SYRACUSE, N.Y. — If a picture is worth a thousand words, the ones of Marion “Dee Dee” Brown say she sure knew how to live. “She was a people person, she was a community person, loved everybody, everybody, starting with the children,” said Marine Jones, Brown’s friend.

Before retiring, Brown worked in the Syracuse City School District for more than 25 years. She was active in the community and was a longtime member of Second Olivet Missionary Baptist Church.”Marion Brown was an usher in our church. She was a person who greeted people with a smile,” said Cyrus Thornton, the church’s pastor.

Last December, Brown died from complications from COVID-19. She leaves a void that can never be filled. “She was the glue to everything in our family,” said her daughter Jacqueline Brown-Saddler.

To honor her love for Syracuse, her family decided to hold a vaccine clinic at her church to help others. “If it means saving your life and having life expectancy longer, I say let’s do it.” Brown-Saddler added, “We wanted to call it the LOVE Vaccination Clinic. The LOVE was going to be for Let’s Offer Vaccination to Everyone in the community.”

Dr. Indu Gupta, Onondaga County’s Health Commissioner said the vaccination rate in the city is lower than in other parts of county. So having this clinic is another way to ensure there’s access to the vaccine.

“We have a lot of vaccines available, but we need arms to vaccinate people. Vaccines don’t save lives, vaccinations save lives.” Dr. Gupta explained, “So it is important because as you know COVID-19 disease is very deadly.”

Even through their grief, Marion “Dee Dee” Brown’s loved ones press on. Her values of faith, hope and especially love, ensured neighbors were taken care of.